Lockdown fury sparks a THIRD night of violence in Holland

The Netherlands was hit by a third night of riots on Monday as hundreds of people clashed with police, set fires, looted stores and overturned cars in multiple cities after the government imposed a night-time curfew. 

The port city of Rotterdam bore the brunt of the violence where police said up to 200 people threw rocks and fireworks at officers then tried to set a police station on fire, with a water cannon deployed to stop them.

One officer also fired a warning shot from his service weapon after a group of police were surrounded. At least 50 people have been arrested, commanders said.

In the city of Den Bosch, 40 miles to the east, police also confronted violent crowds who set off fireworks, broke shop windows, looted a supermarket and an electronics store, and overturned cars.

Jack Mikkers, mayor of Den Bosch, told public broadcaster NOL that such unrest was ‘unheard of’ and condemned the rioters for bringing ‘fear, worry, harm and shame’ to the city.

Trouble also flared in Amsterdam, the city of Amersfoort in the east, the small southern city of Geleen near Maastricht, and The Hague, according to police. In total, 184 people had been arrested by Tuesday morning.

It comes after the Netherlands – which had shunned strict lockdown measures earlier in the pandemic – introduced a night-time curfew to try and bring cases down, sparking a backlash.

While politicians have insisted that the majority of the public back the measures, the curfew drew immediate comparisons with Nazi occupation – the last time such measures were imposed nationwide. 

Rioting struck the Netherlands for the third time on Monday night as hundreds of people set fires, clashed with police, looted shops and overturned cars after the country introduced a coronavirus curfew (pictured, a fire in The Hague)

Rioting struck the Netherlands for the third time on Monday night as hundreds of people set fires, clashed with police, looted shops and overturned cars after the country introduced a coronavirus curfew (pictured, a fire in The Hague)

Rioting struck the Netherlands for the third time on Monday night as hundreds of people set fires, clashed with police, looted shops and overturned cars after the country introduced a coronavirus curfew (pictured, a fire in The Hague)

The port city of Rotterdam was among the worst-hit on Monday, with police saying that up to 200 people threw rocks and fireworks at officers, with at least 50 arrested (pictured)

The port city of Rotterdam was among the worst-hit on Monday, with police saying that up to 200 people threw rocks and fireworks at officers, with at least 50 arrested (pictured)

The port city of Rotterdam was among the worst-hit on Monday, with police saying that up to 200 people threw rocks and fireworks at officers, with at least 50 arrested (pictured)

Masked police officers in The Hague arrest a man suspected of rioting as anti-lockdown protests in the Netherlands turned violent for a third time

Masked police officers in The Hague arrest a man suspected of rioting as anti-lockdown protests in the Netherlands turned violent for a third time

Masked police officers in The Hague arrest a man suspected of rioting as anti-lockdown protests in the Netherlands turned violent for a third time

A supermarket worker in Rotterdam boards up the front of a supermarket after rioters smashed the windows and then looted the shop amid a third night of unrest in the Netherlands

A supermarket worker in Rotterdam boards up the front of a supermarket after rioters smashed the windows and then looted the shop amid a third night of unrest in the Netherlands

A supermarket worker in Rotterdam boards up the front of a supermarket after rioters smashed the windows and then looted the shop amid a third night of unrest in the Netherlands

A worker cleans up shattered glass at a fast food restaurant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday night after the windows were smashed by anti-lockdown rioters

A worker cleans up shattered glass at a fast food restaurant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday night after the windows were smashed by anti-lockdown rioters

A worker cleans up shattered glass at a fast food restaurant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday night after the windows were smashed by anti-lockdown rioters

A bike burns in the middle of the street in front of a smashed KFC restaurant after rioters brought chaos to the centre of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, on Monday night

A bike burns in the middle of the street in front of a smashed KFC restaurant after rioters brought chaos to the centre of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, on Monday night

A bike burns in the middle of the street in front of a smashed KFC restaurant after rioters brought chaos to the centre of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, on Monday night

Police officers bring out dogs to confront a group of rioters in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday night amid a third evening of unrest over a new coronavirus curfew

Police officers bring out dogs to confront a group of rioters in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday night amid a third evening of unrest over a new coronavirus curfew

Police officers bring out dogs to confront a group of rioters in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday night amid a third evening of unrest over a new coronavirus curfew

Rioters first struck on Sunday night in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and multiple other towns – seeming to catch authorities off-guard and prompting warnings from some politicians of ‘civil war’.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte condemned what he called the ‘criminal violence’, which police officials described as the ‘worst rioting in 40 years’.  

John Jorritsma, mayor of Eindhoven, warned bluntly that ‘we’re on our way to civil war’. 

Despite the unrest, many countries in Europe are considering tightening their lockdown measures to try and bring cases down – with top medics in both France and Italy warning that month-long shutdowns are needed. 

Meanwhile hopes that vaccines might provide a quick way out of the crisis for European leaders all-but faded after France’s Pasteur Institute was forced to scrap a jab it had been developing with US drug-maker Merck because it doesn’t work.

The news came as AstraZeneca – whose jab has yet to be approved by EU regulators – announced it was cutting vaccine supplies to the continent by up to 60 per cent because of problems with supply chains, thought to be due to under-production at a factory in Belgium.

Head of the EU executive Ursula von der Leyen had a call with the firm on Monday to ‘remind them of their commitments’, but EU President Charles Michel admitted that vaccinating 70 per cent of Europe’s population – the figure theoretically needed to ensure herd immunity – by the end of summer as planned will now be ‘difficult’.

In other developments on the continent…

  • Police in the Netherlands warned of ‘days or weeks of unrest’ as a result of new curfew measures, imposed on the country for the first since it was occupied by the Nazis 
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned rioters will be treated like ‘criminals’ while insisting ’99 per cent’ of the country supports curfew 
  • The EU recommended cutting off all-but essential travel to dozens of regions deemed to be among the continent’s hotbeds of infection, including locations in Italy, Germany, France and Spain 
  • Italy and the European Union have suggested they could sue AstraZeneca for breach of contract after the company announced it would not meet its vaccine quota
  • Madrid announced its own curfew as Spain’s case numbers continued to soar, with Valencia banning groups of more than two from meeting outside
  • Spain’s health minister, Salvador Illa, stepped down amidst the pandemic to run in local elections in his home region of Catalonia

Europe, which was initially praised for its tough response to Covid after most countries went into full lockdowns in March last year, has been hammered by a second wave that a mish-mash of measures has largely failed to control.

Those efforts have been complicated by the emergence of new and potentially more-infectious variants of the virus, including in the hard-hit UK, which is now back in full lockdown.

While many countries have announced new measures to try and bring infections down, case numbers have remained stubbornly high in countries such as France, Italy and Germany, causing hospitals to run out of space.

Meanwhile Spain and Portugal have both seen infections soar to record levels after a brief dip over the festive period, putting health services under strain. 

In France, where fears about the UK variant are prevalent, new border controls came into force on Sunday amid fears that a third nationwide lockdown could be on the cards later this week. 

A police officer on a bike stands guard near a burning bin in The Hague, during a third night of unrest in the Netherlands

A police officer on a bike stands guard near a burning bin in The Hague, during a third night of unrest in the Netherlands

A police officer on a bike stands guard near a burning bin in The Hague, during a third night of unrest in the Netherlands

A resident of The Hague equipped with a fire extinguisher puts out a burning bike and rubbish bin that was left in the middle of tram tracks by rioters who briefly halted public transport services

A resident of The Hague equipped with a fire extinguisher puts out a burning bike and rubbish bin that was left in the middle of tram tracks by rioters who briefly halted public transport services

A resident of The Hague equipped with a fire extinguisher puts out a burning bike and rubbish bin that was left in the middle of tram tracks by rioters who briefly halted public transport services

Police officers arrest a suspect as groups of local youth gather on the streets of The Hague during rioting sparked by a night-time Covid curfew

Police officers arrest a suspect as groups of local youth gather on the streets of The Hague during rioting sparked by a night-time Covid curfew

Police officers arrest a suspect as groups of local youth gather on the streets of The Hague during rioting sparked by a night-time Covid curfew

Protesters were encouraged to gather on the streets of the Netherlands at 9pm, the time the curfew starts, before riots broke out (pictured, police arrest a suspected rioter in The Hague)

Protesters were encouraged to gather on the streets of the Netherlands at 9pm, the time the curfew starts, before riots broke out (pictured, police arrest a suspected rioter in The Hague)

Protesters were encouraged to gather on the streets of the Netherlands at 9pm, the time the curfew starts, before riots broke out (pictured, police arrest a suspected rioter in The Hague)

Dutch policemen arrest a man during clashes with a large group of young people on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam

Dutch policemen arrest a man during clashes with a large group of young people on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam

Dutch policemen arrest a man during clashes with a large group of young people on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam

A man uses a fire extinguisher to put out a blaze in The Hague, the Netherlands, after anti-lockdown rioters clashed with police in a third night of unrest

A man uses a fire extinguisher to put out a blaze in The Hague, the Netherlands, after anti-lockdown rioters clashed with police in a third night of unrest

A man uses a fire extinguisher to put out a blaze in The Hague, the Netherlands, after anti-lockdown rioters clashed with police in a third night of unrest

Mannequins lie on the street after a large group of young people ran riot in Rotterdam, looting shops and clashing with police

Mannequins lie on the street after a large group of young people ran riot in Rotterdam, looting shops and clashing with police

Mannequins lie on the street after a large group of young people ran riot in Rotterdam, looting shops and clashing with police

Virus cases in Europe have remained stubbornly high throughout winter despite tougher restrictions being introduced, with many countries now considering new national shutdowns - if they have not been imposed already

Virus cases in Europe have remained stubbornly high throughout winter despite tougher restrictions being introduced, with many countries now considering new national shutdowns - if they have not been imposed already

Virus cases in Europe have remained stubbornly high throughout winter despite tougher restrictions being introduced, with many countries now considering new national shutdowns – if they have not been imposed already

Deaths from the virus in Europe are now higher than any other continent with 660,000 recorded since the start of the pandemic, and with hospitals under strain following steep case rises

Deaths from the virus in Europe are now higher than any other continent with 660,000 recorded since the start of the pandemic, and with hospitals under strain following steep case rises

Deaths from the virus in Europe are now higher than any other continent with 660,000 recorded since the start of the pandemic, and with hospitals under strain following steep case rises

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal told the France 3 broadcaster that ‘all scenarios are on the table’, adding that ‘the next few days will be decisive’.

Some doctors meanwhile said that a lockdown was all but inevitable.

‘We moving towards a lockdown,’ said Denis Malvy, a member of France’s Scientific Council and head of the infectious diseases department in a Bordeaux hospital.

In Italy, Professor Walter Ricciardi – adviser to the Minister of Health – used an appearance on radio to call for another four-week national shutdown, saying it is necessary to bring cases down.

Warning the Italy’s current measures will be enough to flatten the number of cases but not decrease them, he added: ‘We need a real lockdown of three or four weeks then resume tracing and testing, only in this way can we recover a normality that we lack.’

Meanwhile the EU recommended cutting off all-but essential travel to areas deemed to be infection hotspots with 500 or more cases per 100,000 people, and was due to publish a map later this week outlining where they are.

EU Justice commissioner Didier Reynders said that between 10 and 20 EU countries would see all or part of their territory deemed to be a high-infection zone if the map was published today.

‘We also think it is necessary for essential travelers arriving from [those] areas to get tested before traveling and to undergo quarantine, unless these measures would have a disproportionate impact on the exercise of their essential function,’ Reynders said. 

Europe continues to be the world’s worst-hit region with coronavirus, having suffered both more cases and more deaths than any other continent.

Since the start of the pandemic, some 29million cases of the virus have been logged in Europe compared to 28.6million in North America – the second-worst affected.

Meanwhile deaths in Europe are now at a combined total of 660,000 – well above second place North America with 600,000. 

The fire brigade extinguishes a fire on the Groene Hilledijk after clashes of a large group of young people with the police in Rotterdam, the Netherland

The fire brigade extinguishes a fire on the Groene Hilledijk after clashes of a large group of young people with the police in Rotterdam, the Netherland

The fire brigade extinguishes a fire on the Groene Hilledijk after clashes of a large group of young people with the police in Rotterdam, the Netherland

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire on the Groene Hilledijk in Rotterdam following the riots on Monday night

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire on the Groene Hilledijk in Rotterdam following the riots on Monday night

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire on the Groene Hilledijk in Rotterdam following the riots on Monday night

A man is arrested by police during clashes in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday night

A man is arrested by police during clashes in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday night

A man is arrested by police during clashes in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday night

A large group of young people clash with police on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam

A large group of young people clash with police on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam

A large group of young people clash with police on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam

Europe's vaccine roll-out was already among the slowest in the world, but has been hit by further problems as France's Pasteur Institute mothballed its jab on Monday and AstraZeneca cut supplies to the bloc by 60 per cent due to 'supply issues'

Europe's vaccine roll-out was already among the slowest in the world, but has been hit by further problems as France's Pasteur Institute mothballed its jab on Monday and AstraZeneca cut supplies to the bloc by 60 per cent due to 'supply issues'

Europe’s vaccine roll-out was already among the slowest in the world, but has been hit by further problems as France’s Pasteur Institute mothballed its jab on Monday and AstraZeneca cut supplies to the bloc by 60 per cent due to ‘supply issues’

Virus cases in Europe have remained stubbornly high throughout winter despite tougher restrictions being introduced, with many countries now considering new national shutdowns - if they have not been imposed already

Virus cases in Europe have remained stubbornly high throughout winter despite tougher restrictions being introduced, with many countries now considering new national shutdowns - if they have not been imposed already

Virus cases in Europe have remained stubbornly high throughout winter despite tougher restrictions being introduced, with many countries now considering new national shutdowns – if they have not been imposed already

Deaths from the virus in Europe are now higher than any other continent with 660,000 recorded since the start of the pandemic, and with hospitals under strain following steep case rises

Deaths from the virus in Europe are now higher than any other continent with 660,000 recorded since the start of the pandemic, and with hospitals under strain following steep case rises

Deaths from the virus in Europe are now higher than any other continent with 660,000 recorded since the start of the pandemic, and with hospitals under strain following steep case rises

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